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The new Routes into Languages website is currently in development and will be launching in the new year!


Promoting the take-up of languages and student mobility

West Midlands

World of Work

Tuesday, 10 June, 2008 - 11:00 to 16:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Wolverhampton - Shropshire Campus

During this event,
pupils will hear from two enthusiastic local business representatives about the
ways in which they have made use of their language skills throughout their

  • Brian Savin of Savin Productions (Solihull) owns
    an audio production company and spent many years writing and producing
    radio commercials for a Geneva
  • Language Business Champion Angela Maxwell was the Director of
    Marketing for the coffee machine manufacturing company Fracino which marketed and
    distributed their products world-wide. Angela is now the Managing Director
    of the business solutions company
    based in Leicestershire.

Following the
morning's inspirational talks the pupils will take part in ‘hands-on' marketing
workshops run by Brian and Angela for which prizes will be awarded to the best
team. Finally, the pupils will have a chance to practice their business
language skills with workshops in French, German and Spanish.

Deutsch und Fußball

Friday, 13 June, 2008 - 11:00 to 16:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Birmingham

80 pupils will be visiting the University of Birmingham
on 13th June to mark the start of the Euro 2008 Championship with a
day of football and German!

Pupils will learn all the German vocabulary they'll need to
play their mini-tournament in the afternoon and their fellow classmates will be
on the sidelines waving their German banners and singing German football songs.
The pupils will also attend a workshop on the popular German film, Das Wunder von Bern, which follows Germany's surprise World Cup victory over Hungary in Switzerland in 1954.

Intensive courses in Japanese and Chinese

Wednesday, 2 April, 2008 - 11:00 to Friday, 4 April, 2008 - 17:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Birmingham

These 3-day courses are held at the University of Birmingham
for gifted and talented Year 9 pupils (2 to 4 April 2008) and Year 12 pupils
(28 to 30 July 2008). They combine an introduction to each language with an insight
into Chinese and Japanese culture.

FLAGS (Foreign Languages Awareness Groups for Schools)

Wednesday, 23 January, 2008 - 17:00 to Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 - 17:00
Event Type: 
West Midlands
University of Birmingham

This e-mentoring
project, hosted by the University of Birmingham, aims to raise the enthusiasm
for language learning in Year 9 pupils by offering them a 9-week Web CT course
for beginners in Italian (from January 2008) and later in the year in Japanese,
German and Chinese. The pupils are supported in their learning by undergraduate

**Results** - European Day of Languages Poster Competition 2013!

West Midlands

A huge thank you to all the pupils who entered our European Day of Languages Poster competition this year!


Our theme this year was "Countries" and we were looking for eye catching posters showing a country where the language the pupil is learning is spoken. It came with a twist though! Pupils had to choose a country outside of the "mother country" of the language (so if they chose French, they must choose a country other than France, if they choose Spanish it must be a country other than Spain and so on).



We received over 700 entries across Years 7 - 9 each with a wide range of countries from those close to home like Switzerland, Belgium and Monaco and those much further afield such as Madagascar, Peru and Singapore represented! We were very impressed by the level of creativity displayed, the amount and accuracy of foreign language used and the depth of research which had gone into the posters - choosing just one winner and runner up per year group was very difficult and we commend all pupils for their efforts.


The winners were those who the judges deemed to best display the background, language and culture of the country they had chosen, demonstrated an effort to use foreign languages and originality of illustration as part of a well presented and attractive poster.


Congratulations to winners and runners up in the categories below. Winners will receive £20 vouchers for HMV and a certificate, runners up will receive £10 vouchers for HMV and a certificate. Prizes will be presented by student ambassadors in special school assemblies.



Winner - Jade Griffiths, The Rawlett School


Runner up - Aiden Childs, Charlton School



Winner - Layla Ali, Pedmore Technology College


Runner up - Anisah Hussain, Yardleys School



Winner - Rose Winn, Haybridge High School


Runner up - Charlie Sheargold, William Brookes School



Year 7 - Luke Osborne, Walton High School


Year 7 - Adam Stinchcombe, The Earls High School


Year 7 - Millie Mae Fawcett, Walton High School


Year 8 - Simran Mahmood - Pedmore Technology College


Year 9 - Reanna Sandhu, Haybridge High School


Year 9 Gracie Radford, The Rawlett School


Make Your Own Comic Book - a special competition for budding artists across the UK

West Midlands

Calling all comic devotees: BD&Comics Passion is back at the Institut français in London from May 30th to June 2nd 2013! Workshops, live drawing, concerts and movies galore are on the agenda, with some of the greatest writers and illustrators. And since you love comics, why not make one yourself? If you’re aged 7 to 17 and live in the UK, you can participate in the nationwide competition and stand a chance to win amazing prizes! Whether you make it on your own, as a class project, or with friends…entries can be submitted in French or English or both.


For more information and how to enter, download the attached flyer or visit the website

Cultural celebrations at Aston University!

West Midlands

Throughout March, Routes into Languages, in conjunction with Network for Languages and CLERA (Centre for Language Education Research at Aston) held a series of cultural days looking at Spanish, French and German as world languages.


The events were for Year 8 pupils and featured workshops from native speakers and final year students from French, Spanish and German speaking countries around the world. The visitors took pupils on a virtual tour of their country talking about topics such as food, history, cultural celebrations and geography. They brought in food and delicacies from their home nations (some even homemade!), small artefacts and shared personal photographs and stories to really give students the desire to travel! The countries covered ranged from closer to home Switzerland, Luxembourg and Austria to further flung Paraguay, Quebec and Burundi. After their workshops, the pupils then worked in mixed school groups to design posters in the target language to demonstrate what they had learned.


The aim of the events was to show the languages the pupils are studying in school as world languages and to inspire them to continue studying languages at school and beyond.


While the pupils were busy travelling the world from their classrooms, we were fortunate to have representation from the French Embassy, the Spanish Embassy and Goethe Institut who delivered CPD sessions for the teachers. The visitors also judged the best poster created by the pupils and awarded prizes.


The events were a great success: a total of 180 pupils from 15 schools across the region attended.



To find out more about any of these projects please visit the websites:


Routes into Languages West Midlands

Network for Languages


The Front National at forty: a ‘normal’ party now? - inaugural lecture at Aston University

West Midlands

Aston Inaugural: Professor Jim Shields, Tuesday 23rd April 



Aston Inaugurals



The Aston Inaugurals celebrate and showcase the research expertise of the University’s newly appointed professors across a diverse range of topics.   


The fourth lecture in the series will be given by Professor Jim Shields from Aston University's School of Languages and Social Sciences at 6.00pm on Tuesday 23rd April 2013. 


The Front National at forty: a ‘normal’ party now? 


In the 2012 French presidential and parliamentary elections, Marine Le Pen and her far-right Front National (FN) won a combined total of ten million votes, one in six of all first-round votes cast. This was an electoral support unprecedented in the party’s forty-year history. In the course of that history, the FN has grown from a small radical right-wing fringe movement to the third most important political party in France. In 2002, its founding leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, shocked the political world by coming second in the presidential race; his daughter’s ambition now is to complete the party’s journey to mainstream acceptability. 


This lecture will consider some of the issues raised by the current strength and mainstream aspirations of the FN. It will be the second ‘inaugural’ lecture given by this speaker on this subject at Aston. The first was in autumn 1984 when, as a newly appointed fixed-term lecturer, a very much younger Jim Shields devoted his first lecture to the earliest signs of electoral breakthrough by a largely unknown Front National – never thinking he would be talking about it still three decades later. 


This Inaugural is the story of a long and unlikely personal association with a political party. Despite an academic career spent mostly elsewhere, it is also the story of a long, and unlikely, personal association with a university. 


All of the Aston Inaugurals will start at 6.00pm and will be held in the Sumpner Lecture Theatre located in the Main Building on Aston University campus which is just a short walk from the Centre of Birmingham. 


The event is free to attend and open to all. Complimentary tea and coffee will be served from 5.30pm and a buffet will follow the lecture.  


To book a seat, register via Eventbrite . For further information call please call 0121 204 4542 or email